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With a new year comes new trends. Trends such as, who knew that millions of “Belieber” fans were right, hotels are adding “Mini Fashion Bars” in rooms where guests can choose curated fashion items to wear, and many stores are going to upset the shopping masses this Christmas by closing on black Friday. No matter how important, or completely unimportant, these trends may be there will be some for 2016 in digital marketing that will change the online world.

Marketing has come a long way from the “Mad Men” era of whisky, women, cigars, and pure unadulterated inspiration. When navigating the landscape of today’s digital marketing, staying in your comfort zone is not an option. It is ever changing and this year is no different. Constantly reinventing yourself is a massive part of staying up to date on new trends and as marketers we must be able to let go of the past. Out with the old and in with the new can happen overnight.

So what should we expect for 2016? Here are 7 trends that will be making an impact this year:

1- Digital Assistants

The two popular strategies for driving traffic to your site and having it seen by previously unknown visitors are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). But digital assistants will bring a new kind of optimization to the table. Digital assistants such as Siri will use traditional search engines to find information, but only when necessary The key to using these assistants to optimize your site is to make sure your business information is easily accessible to them.

2- Mobile vs Desktop

Last year Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. The algorithm “Mobilegeddon” was released to phase out sites that are not optimized for a mobile platform. However, you don’t need to have a desktop version if you only have a mobile-only site. Although this doesn’t mean that desktop traffic will completely fade away, it does look like Google is headed in that direction.

3- Video Ads Will Rule

In-SERP video advertising will be popping up more in unexpected places this year. As users grow to be more accepting of video ads online, this trend will skyrocket. The possibilities are practically endless, especially with Google’s ownership of YouTube.

4- Virtual Reality

Devices such as Oculus are showing up this year in the gaming world. This much hyped device, among with other virtual reality devices that are expected to be released in the next few years, will create a new medium of online advertising by integrating with social media platforms, video channels, and some forms of direct messaging.

5- Wearable Technology

The first-generation smartwatch was unveiled in 2015 by Apple. Similar wearable devices should start making their way onto the marketing scene this year. Local marketing will be changed form these devices and the differences between “online” marketing and “real” marketing will become more blended.

6- More Apps Due to App Indexing

Although Google has offered app indexing for a while, 2016 will be the year that business owners will be more aware of the advantages of a dedicated app has on online visibility. In order to appeal to those who frequently use apps a more mobile-optimized direction is going to be necessary.

7- Advertising Will Become More Expensive

As online marketing continues to become increasingly important to business owners, the cost of advertising also increases. Dramatic rises in prices have been seen over the years and 2016 will be no different. Proof that digital marketing is a necessary part in order to increase your online visibility has also increased demand. Higher demand leads to higher prices.

Although there is no guarantee on how and when any of these trends will show their faces this year, you can count on them having an effect in the online marketing world. These are not the only ones that will be around, but certainly important ones to keep your eye on. Forward-thinking campaigns will help you reap the full digital-marketing benefits.

 (For a look ahead to 2017 trends and strategies, be sure to check out this post: Get Ahead of SEO Trends in 2017)

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